Kansas governors, renewable energy, napping, flying over New York, the Google, banks.
Governor a former GOP star (Associated Press in Topeka Capital-Journal) A quick look at the political biography of Kansas’ new Governor Mark Parkinson. “Parkinson has said his political views didn’t change so much as the Republican Party changed. He has said he plans to make no major policy or staff changes from the Sebelius administration.”
Sebelius spotted at jazz fest (Associated Press in Topeka Capital-Journal) “Sebelius said she and her husband have been coming to the annual festival for three decades, but officially, not this one. The blog said she didn’t want her attendance at Jazz Fest reported, because, she said, ‘We don’t want to appear to be frivolous.’” Personally, I don’t think taking a quick vacation in New Orleans is frivolous. I wish I could do it more often myself. But these remarks by the former Kansas Governor, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, make me wonder: is it frivolous only if it’s not reported?
Study outlines state’s renewable energy potential (Daniel McCoy in the Wichita Business Journal) “A new study from the American Council on Renewable Energy reports previous estimates for Kansas’ renewable energy future may be far less than the actual potential. According to the ACORE study, Kansas could be poised to meet a 200 percent renewable energy standard. The report found the state is currently exploiting less than 1 percent of its wind energy potential. At a peak production rate, ACORE found Kansas could be producing 19 gigawatts of wind-generated power by 2024.” Too bad this wind power can’t be produced when we really need it the most — hot summer afternoons and evenings. If we can devise a way to store all this energy, that would change the equation. Until then, we must rely on energy sources like coal. Unless, that is, Kansas environmentalists would agree to turn off their air conditioners and tell, say, Cessna to stop manufacturing airplanes when the wind isn’t blowing.
Aging Gracefully: Napping Dr. Andrew Weil makes the case for taking a nap now and then.
Official May Be Fired for Authorizing N.Y. Flyover (Washington Post) “White House press secretary Robert Gibbs pointedly refused to rule out a firing in the case of the Air Force One backup’s flight that terrified some in New York City on Monday.”
Google Unveils New Tool To Dig for Public Data (Washington Post) “Google launched a new search tool yesterday designed to help Web users find public data that is often buried in hard-to-navigate government Web sites.
The tool, called Google Public Data, is the latest in the company’s efforts to make information from federal, state and local governments accessible to citizens. It’s a goal that many Washington public interest groups and government watchdogs share with President Obama, whose technology advisers are pushing to open up federal data to the public.” This is a great idea, if it really works. Just today I tried to find the salaries of Sedgwick County commissioners and Wichita city council members, and I — someone who, if I do say so myself, is pretty handy at using the Internet — was foiled.
Feeling Secure, Some Banks Want to Be Left Alone (New York Times) As Washington pushes banks to mend their finances, the banks are pushing back. Emboldened by newfound profits and eager to shake off federal control, a growing number of banks are resisting the Obama administration’s proposals for fixing the financial system. Lenders that skirted disaster only months ago with the help of taxpayer dollars are now balking at government prescriptions.”
The Mogul Who Built Corporate America (New York Times) “Mr. Stiles is clear-eyed about his subject’s nearly amoral rapacity. He writes that [Cornelius] Vanderbilt ‘exacerbated problems that would never be fully solved: a huge disparity in wealth between rich and poor; the concentration of great power in private hands; the fraud and self-serving deception that thrives in an unregulated environment.’ But again and again in ‘The First Tycoon,’ he also defends Vanderbilt against his most vocal detractors and, whenever possible, corrects the historical record when it has portrayed him unfairly. Vanderbilt did not actually say, to give just one example, a line that was used against him at the time: ‘Law! What do I care about the law?’” I suppose this is about as balanced as we’re going to get from the New York Times. In reality, Vanderbilt faced government-subsidized competitors, and won.